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The Art of the Orbit

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Science  29 Jan 1999:
Vol. 283, Issue 5402, pp. 620-622
DOI: 10.1126/science.283.5402.620

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The constraints of the current NASA philosophy of "faster, cheaper, better" have forced a renaissance in the art of spacecraft navigation and trajectory design. Instead of relying on huge amounts of fuel and brute force, mission designers are creating space missions that rely on subtle orbital dynamics to loop and dart through the inner solar system.